Medford, Ore. -- With the school year just around the corner, now is the time families are beginning to stock up on school supplies.
But for low income or needy families, those school supplies can be a fortune.
"I have twin third graders, and one going into kindergarten. It's pretty hard this time of year, with school clothes, and supplies, and lists, and registration they charged for this year too," said mother Leah Morse.
Hoping to help ease the pain, Saint Vincent De Paul is hosting their 15th annual back to school program in Medford this week, giving away free school supplies to nearly 3,000 Jackson County students.
Volunteers say students receive differnt items depending on their grade level.
"High schoolers get the binders, the paper, notebook, pens, pencils. And the lower grades will get markers and crayons, glue sticks, and scissors, those types of things," said volunteer Debra Christian.
It's when all those items are added together that make a big difference for families with limited income.
"Backpacks are $20 to $40 a piece and everything else. It's like 50 dollars a kid for all the miscellaneous things, and it really helps out a lot," Morse said.
The National Retail Federation forecasts the average family with children enrolled in grades K through 12 will spend $669, up 5% from 2013.
With volunteers helping pass out free school supplies, families are able to keep a little extra cash in their wallets.
Families can pick up school supplies through Friday between 10 am and 2 pm. And also Tuesday and Thursday night between 5 and 7 pm.
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